Suggestions On Planning Your Myrtle Beach Family Vacation

To get maximum enjoyment from a Grand Strand vacation I suggest you do at least some minimal planning.

Ralph Payne: Contributor

A vacation (or holiday, as our European friends like to call it) is something nearly everyone looks forward to. It provides time away from the drudgery of one’s day-to-day routine, time to be with the family, friends, or — just that special someone. The Grand Strand has increasingly become known as a great place to unwind and get away from those pressures of life. Of course there are hundreds of popular family vacation destinations to choose from but each year millions of families choose Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand.

In a recent Trip Advisor poll, Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand ranked number one in popularity, outscoring #2 Las Vegas and #3 New York City.

In case you are interested, the other 7 were:

  • Destin, Florida
  • Ocean City, Maryland
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • San Francisco, California
  • San Diego, California
  • Key West, Florida

For many years the Myrtle Beach area has also been recognized as one of the 10 best US beaches for families.

One major contributing factor to that accolade is that the Grand Strand has for many years ranked at the top of the list as the most affordable of all major travel destinations in the United States. One travel writer rates the Grand Strand high on his list because he called it a place where vacationers could visit for less than $100 a day. And an affordable great vacation is probably something that piques the interest of nearly everyone. While the Grand Strand and Myrtle Beach has been a popular vacation spot for decades, it continues to expand its offerings to families and couples seeking the chance to get away from it all and spend some well-deserved and much needed time together. And many who are looking to get away as just a couple also find the Grand Strand to be the perfect place, too.

The Grand Strand is an easy vacation choice for millions of vacationers.

The Grand Strand and Myrtle Beach are a much shorter trip than Florida for the huge populations of the northeast, saving the vacationer both time and money and adding to the attraction of the area. While there are dozens of other popular US and international vacation destinations to choose from, the Grand Strand has become the go-to spot for millions who seek great climate, great amusement and great family atmosphere. Though the beach is probably the most noted reason for vacationing here, its popularity is boosted by a staggering variety of other activities as well. And while the Grand Strand is known primarily as a family beach, couples looking for that quiet romantic getaway find this to be an area that also offers plenty of romance rating as one of the most romantic vacation destinations in the US.

Tens of thousands have exchanged their vows and celebrated their unions here.

A great choice for honeymooners, the strand offers the bride and groom great picks of luxury accommodations, romantic gourmet dining, and 60 miles of beach with plenty of other couple-oriented things to do as well.

Now let’s get to planning.

Compare your vacation checklist to this list of some the most important considerations.

Is your vehicle ready to travel?

  • Are all your lights working?
  • Are your windshield wiper blades in good shape?
  • Air conditioner charged?
  • Oil level checked?
  • Air pressure in your tires? When did you last check the air pressure in your spare tire?
  • Do you have a roadside emergency kit? If not, here is a great one from Amazon.

Have you finalized your lodging arrangements?  

Find a great lodging deal here.

  • Where type accommodations will you need (or desire)?
  • Oceanfront luxury hotel suite for 2?
  • Family-sized condo or house?
  • Recreational vehicle hook-ups?
  • What is your confirmation number?

What clothes will you pack? What’s the expected weather?

Buy all your beach essentials with a click before you leave home.

  • Just bare essentials?
  • Swim suits?
  • Cover ups?
  • Hats?
    • Check out JoJo’s Beach Shop favorite beach hats here.
  • Clothes for gourmet dinner or clubbing?
  • Flip flops? Shag shoes? Dressy sandals? High heels?
  • Medications?
  • Sun screen?
  • What about the kids’ travel bags?
  • How many changes?
  • Toys, games for travel?

Beach supplies and equipment?

Find beach supplies at JoJo’s here.

  • Chaise lounge?
  • Blanket/towels?
  • Beach Cart?
  • Cooler? (No glass on beach.)
  • Beach tent/shelter? (Check with ordinances.)
  • Beach games?
  • Beach toys/games. Sand bucket?

What’s for dinner?

  • Seafood buffet?
  • Gourmet meal? (Reservations)
  • Casual dining?
  • Fast food?

What attractions and amusements will you visit?

Find our suggestions here.

  • Broadway at the beach?
  • Aquarium?
  • Boardwalks?
  • Sky Wheel?
  • Brookgreen Gardens?
  • Alligator Adventure?
  • Jet-skiing or parasailing?
  • Casino boat?
  • Rent a pontoon boat?
  • Water Park(s)?
  • Nascar rides?

Going to a show or clubbing?

Find our suggestions here.

  • Fat Harold’s, Ducks, OD Pavilion, shag dancing?
  • Status Nightlife?
  • Carolina Opry?
  • Alabama Theater?
  • Legends in Concert?
  • House of Blues?
  • Reservations and tickets?

Going shopping?

Our suggestions are here.

  • Tanger Outlet(s)?
  • Barefoot Landing?
  • Coastal Grande Mall?
  • Bass Pro/Cabella’s?
  • Pawleys Island Hammocks?
  • Flea markets?

Going golfing?

  • Tee times?
  • Dress code?
    • Casual dress is usually ok but denim is not usually accepted. I suggest you call the course if you are uncertain.
  • Golf clubs with extra balls?

Going fishing?

  • Off-shore fishing? (Reservations?)
  • Surf Fishing?
  • Pier Fishing?
    • Choose from these piers.
    • You can rent everything you’ll need if you are pier fishing.
  • Fishing equipment?
  • Crabbing?
    • Don’t let your little kids get pinched by a frisky crab. Get some tongs from Amazon instead!
  • I hope you’ll need a filet knife…. and some cooking oil.


  • Arrangements for your pets? (Either at home or a kennel here.) NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET IN YOUR CAR!
  • Pet supplies?

What about coupons?

  • Online coupons?
  • Coupon books?

Souvenirs for the folks back home?

Be sure to get the whole family involved in researching and making all these decisions is part of the fun of vacationing. Careful planning will help you get maximum benefit for that all-to-short Grand Strand getaway or vacation

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